A nonprofit’s success is dependent on the network in which it operates. Without the support of donors and volunteers, it’s difficult for a nonprofit to propel its mission forward.
Building a community of supporters and constituents that rally behind a unified cause doesn’t occur in a day’s work. It takes time.
Nonprofits can use technology and “the three Cs” – context, continuity and consistency – to engage and expand their networks.
1. Context: Give the individual members of your network personalized information.
Because you’re vying for limited donors and volunteers, it’s important that you stand out. Do so by giving specific audiences tailored information. Your constituents are more likely to read, respond, and react to information that is especially meaningful to them.
- Use a communication tool that allows you to segment audiences and customize messaging. Create various mailing lists to share relevant, specific, and strategic content to each list.
- Monitor engagement to determine if contacts are interested in your messaging, and tailor your communication style based on the results you see.
Give people in your network information within a specific context, and you increase the chances that they’ll remember your story and pass it along.
2. Continuity: Tell your story in stages, over time.
Your story is ever evolving, and it’s hard to capture that in a single newsletter. Use technology, such as en email newsletter tool, to better manage your organization’s story.
- Consolidate and manage the messages you send to individual networks. Limit yourself to sharing snippets of information that connect to the larger narrative, and be mindful of how each story connects to the previous one.
- Capture the attention of constituents by informing in continuous stages rather than overwhelming all at once.
Distributing information in a manageable fashion will increase the likelihood that your supporters will be more thoughtful and thorough when sharing your story with others.
3. Consistency: Deliver regularly scheduled communications.
By using communication technology, you can produce consistent messaging that will help your supporters understand how to communicate your story. Over time they will learn, understand, and repeat information about your organization.
- Through repetition, demonstrate to constituents the art of storytelling. Consistent communication will encourage your network to share information about your organization with others.
- Centralize communications with manageable newsletters and communiqués. This will keep board members, committees and departments involved and informed on the status of your nonprofit, which empowers them to share, forward, and engage with your messages.
As you increase the frequency of communications, your supporters are more likely to understand your story and goals, influencing others to join your network.
By using context, continuity and consistency to your advantage with the help of technology, you’ll reap the benefits of network expansion.
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